How All the Construction Began

We’ve been in full construction mode since July but the process started way before that.

First was the decision to actually do the construction. My dad had asked us to move in with him in December 2018. My mom had passed away in July of that year. He was lonely in the house with just the dog. The dog isn’t much of a conversationalist. We discussed him moving in with us, but he didn’t like that idea. Then we looked at a few houses in his current area that may have worked. It came down to his neighborhood was a perfect place for us to be. There was already a network established with the neighbors. We practically already lived there. We were over all the time and my parents had taken care of the boys while we worked. We participated in all the street activities for holidays so it just made sense for us to move in there.

Adding on to the house was the only option. The existing house had three bedrooms and two baths. It wasn’t enough room for three adults and two teenagers. My dad and husband both wanted their own office space and we needed rooms for the boys. But how were we going to add on was a big question.

In January we met with a contractor and designer. The original idea was to go up into the attic and above the garage. That was a no go structurally. We then went through a whole range of detached, simi attached, ADU (assessors dwelling unit) how can we attach it to be seamless with the rest of the house? It was stressful.

View of the back of the house where the addition would attach.

A design was finally proposed where we would attach the addition to the back of the house where the slider door was. With that we had to enclose our master bedroom windows and relocate them to another wall. That meant losing my walk in closet, taking down a wall and creating a new closet. There were several submissions to the county for approval and reworks to make the design code compliant. But we finally got it.

My master wndows that needed to be removed.
My new master bedroom windows

This process took six and a half months. During that time we had to remove our shed, and a tree. We moved in in March. The boys moved into the formal livingroom for the short term. It ened up being long term due to construction issues.

In July the excavation began and the construction started in full force. That in a nut shell is how we came to building the addition on to the house.

Check out my Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall for more pictures of the work done on the house.

Until next time.

My husband in the excavator. He did not do the excavating.
In the hole the excavator created.
The boys in the excavator

What am I up to now

Crazy hat day at school

We’ve made some big life moves in the last several months to get to where we are now. It’s been crazy, stressful but totally worth it.

Several months ago my father asked us if we were willing to move in with him. My mother passed away in July 2018 and living alone with just the dog was lonely.

After much consideration and conversation my husband and I agreed. In really we agreed right away but how we were going to make it happen took a bit to coordinate. We needed to sell our house and build an addition on his. And that’s just the short version of all the things we needed to do.

We moved in over spring break, which has been about a month ago now. Our house is in contract and will be closing soon, fingers crossed. And the plans for the addition will be going to the county this upcoming week. To say that my shoulders are a bit tense would be an understatement. Don’t worry, I’m getting a message this week to release the stress. So there will be room for the new stress.

There is still a lot going on but it’s all worth it. We’re all together as a family. We’re all settling in to our new routines. Our cats still don’t know what to think of the dog but they are getting used to each other.

Updates about the addition build will come over the next several months. It should be an interesting process.

As you can see from the totally serious picture above I’m still working at the school district. The hat, by the way, was a big hit with the kids. Totally worth the purchase.

To keep up with what’s going on follow me on instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time

Brief History of Laura

Zen Frog because I love frogs
Zen Frog because I love frogs

To get things moving here I thought a brief history of me would be in order. I promise this isn’t going to be long but it’ll give you an idea of where I’m from and where I’ve been.

I was born in Panorama City California on November 26, 1975. I grew up in Simi Valley California. I am an only child. You know, my parents recognized perfection and stopped.

I went all the way through school in Simi graduating from Royal High School in June 1994. In Junior High I was a member of the choir and we went on a singing tour in Florida. That was pretty exciting. We sang in venues around Florida but the best place was Disney World. That’s hard to beat when you’re a teenager. While in high school I was a member of the dance team and competed quite extensively. In 1993 the team went to Japan to compete in the World Dance Competition. And guess what? We won. That was a pretty awesome time in my life. That was my first taste of international travel and I loved it. I was accepted to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where I earned my degrees in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and a Business degree. I graduated in May 1998. Yep, in just four years.

After graduation I worked for an international hotel chain and moved to Texas in Sept 1998. In Texas I opened multiple hotels and restaurants for multiple companies. I even worked for the Dallas Cowboys for a period of time. Let me tell you that was an experience. That is also where I met my husband.

I got married on October 26, 2002. So as of this writing I’ve been married for twelve years. Wow, where does the time go? Jason and I welcomed our first son, Parker, into the world on January 24, 2005.

Jason had a job opportunity in the Pacific Northwest in 2006, specifically in the Portland area. Which it so happened to be where my parents had retired to a few years earlier. Being an only child and having the only grand baby it only seemed right to move. So we moved up to Oregon in March of 2006. We then welcomed our second son, Aiden, into the family on November 28, 2006. Aiden and my birthdays are two days apart. Not only do we share our birthday celebrations with each other, we share them with a turkey. Which if you didn’t see it earlier I am a Thanksgiving baby.

In January 2007 I began writing again much more seriously than I had in school. I started writing in elementary school, but never thought of writing as a real career choice. But as I went through my old writings I got excited about it again and thought, this actually is a real option. My first story was published in April 2012.

In October 2012 I decided to take a year off to write and be a full time mom. I loved every minute of that year. I wrote more than I have ever written before. It was glorious. The boys loved it because mom was actually home all the time. Which was a harsh contrast to when I was working in the restaurant 50 plus hours a week.

I returned to full time restaurant employment in November 2013 to a place I call the Burger Mines.

So what am I working on now? Currently I’m working on returning to purely creative pursuits, to be honest to my true self, to travel and create. To be the mom and wife I want to be. What that year off showed me was what was possible if I let it happen. So now I’m working my ever loving butt off to be able to live the life I truly want to live.

That is the history of me in a nutshell. See I told you it wouldn’t be too long.

If you’d like to see my daily journey please follow me on twitter @beinglkm or on Instagram beinglaurakmarshall